The role of eosinophils in chronic spontaneous urticaria

Sabine Altrichter, Stefan Frischbutter, Jie Shen Fok, Pavel Kolkhir, Qingqing Jiao, Per Stahl Skov, Martin Metz, Martin K. Church, Marcus Maurer

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is considered to be primarily a mast cell–driven disease. However, recent evidence suggests that eosinophils may also have an axial role in symptomology. Histologic studies have demonstrated the presence of both eosinophils and eosinophil granules, indicative of activation, in CSU lesions. Although many allergic and inflammatory conditions are associated with a peripheral blood eosinophilia, the converse appears to be the case in CSU, with a peripheral blood eosinopenia being observed in many patients. Possible mechanisms include the depletion of blood eosinophils by recruitment into the skin during active disease and immunologic destruction in the blood. We also address in some detail the interactions between eosinophils and mast cells, particularly the cytokine cross-talk of these cells and mediator release possibly leading to clinical symptoms. Also, activation by eosinophil proteins of the coagulation pathway leads to the generation of thrombin and increased mast cell degranulation. Finally, treatments aimed at reducing eosinophil accumulation and activation, such as the anti–IL-5 antibodies mepolizumab, reslizumab, and benralizumab, have been reported to reduce CSU symptoms. Clearly, a new picture of an important role of eosinophils in the pathogenesis of CSU is emerging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1516
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • eosinophil
  • mast cell
  • Urticaria chronic spontaneous urticaria

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